Finding Your Niche
Niche marketing is defined as a method of finding and serving small but profitable market segments and offering custom-made products and services. It's all about finding a special section of the market and focusing on serving potential customers with very specific requirements.
With the Internet, you have the potential to reach an enormous worldwide audience -- in fact it includes everyone with a computer and Internet access and happens to be interested in the topic of your website. However it is practically impossible to reach the vast majority of these people because there is just far too much competition. There are a lot of experts already out there in almost every area you can think of and to find your customers, you have to focus very carefully on a few focal points within a market. For example, your area of interest might be contemporary art so you will have to focus on a small specific area within this general concept, let's say a particular artist or a specific theme such as ‘drawings of elephants’. By drilling down and focusing so precisely, your keywords, ‘drawings of elephants’ will be able to attract many more people ready to buy your items than you'd ever find if your focus was on a broad term like contemporary art.
You might be concerned that the market for people wanting to buy drawings of elephants is nowhere near big enough for you to make enough money but there is no reason why you cannot appeal to several niche markets and make all the money you want. You could have a website selling wildlife prints and could be offering a whole range of prints of different animals -- the point is you need a page for each different type of drawing, say drawings of elephants, drawings of bears, drawings of gorillas, for example. Each different page will have its own niche and its own keywords and this will enable your visitors to find you -- in fact this is the whole reason that keywords are used.
Finding your own niche
There are billions of different niches available out there, so how do you find something that will sell -- how do you find a profitable niche? One way is to focus on the different needs people have, for example to make money, to find happiness, to lose weight, to stop smoking and so on. These broad categories have universal appeal and within each of these subjects, there will be hundreds and thousands of small niche markets. For example, if someone wants to stop smoking, they could use substitute cigarettes such as herbal cigarettes, they could try nicotine patches or tablets to gradually wean themselves off cigarettes, they could try hypnotherapy to help them quit or they could change their paradigms by reading a thought-provoking book on how to quit smoking.
Your website could either be a portal for information on how to stop smoking, offering lots of different aids, treatments and products to help people give up their habit -- or you could focus on just one product such as a book on how to stop smoking as a micro-niche market. Whichever way you go, each separate product would become a niche in itself and would require its own set of keywords.
One good way of finding a niche is to look at your own skills and experience and find something you know a lot about. Perhaps you are a keen gardener and you know how to take cuttings and grow new plants successfully. You could start a business selling cuttings, you could offer gardening courses which focus on propagating new plants, or you could create a DVD and an instruction booklet showing people how they can also grow new plants. You will find potential customers in all sorts of areas, such as gardening forums, garden center websites, gardening blogs and Facebook groups -- it's just a matter of spreading the word and letting people know about your business. When you draw upon your own skills and experience to sell niche products and services you become something of an expert in your field, which people will pay money for and you also put your heart and soul into it because it is something you have a passion for. This alone will go a long way towards making your business a success.
Do your research
When you are setting up your keywords for your niche markets, you have to check what is already being offered by your competitors -- the trick is to change your focus slightly until you find the balance between the most popular keywords, what is currently available and what is open for you. Ideally you will find keywords that are being underutilized by your competitors.
Once you find the right keywords, sprinkle them throughout your website copy, in all your marketing materials, blog posts and so on so that anyone searching for those terms will be able to find you.